22 May 2017

Archdiocese of Saint Louis Sues the City over Abortion Sanctuary City Ordinance

This story is covered in both the Review and STL Today.  Clink either or both links.

I give the Archbishop kudos for his early, consistent, forthright and unstinting leadership in opposing this pro-death legislation. The Archdiocese's legal team has also greatly improved since the dark days of botching the St. Stan's game.

In a country governed by the U.S. Constitution, this ordinance would be struck down on quickly, beginning with a TRO.  Of course, that wouldn't be this country now, would it?  But in any event, the Archdiocese is doing the right thing, including making a bold declaration that whatever the outcome of this lawsuit, it will never comply with the ordinance.

Again, all good news, so forgive me if I point out a couple of sour notes.  The St. Louis Review article's headline still refers to this piece of [ahem] legislation as a "reproductive decisions" ordinance. Really?  It did the same on an article covering the mayoral signing of this execrable bill.  Who is writing the headlines, and who is editing this? Why are we using the language of the enemies of unborn babies to allow them to frame the issue? Even the Post-Dispatch uses the somewhat more accurate and less propaganda-ish term "abortion anti-discrimination ordinance".

Then, on top of this, the Review carries a slideshow of photos, one of which shows a person holding a sign reading "Religious Liberty: Our Most Basic Freedom".  Except that this, too, uses the language of our enemies. Religious liberty is a heresy. Religious error is not a right. If we mean we have the right to the true worship of God, say so.  Even in the context of the Constitution religious liberty isn't the right here.  Freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, and free exercise of religion. All these are covered in the First Amendment. The right to life is covered in the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. 

Perhaps this last point is a quibble but the whole battle for "religious liberty" is a de facto whimper to be treated the same as all the false religions, begging for a scrap of what is ours by right.  And in the end you get satanic black masses and satanic monuments on public property, and why? Because the true Church demands only "religious liberty". And we are left without an argument to make against these atrocities because all we asked for was religious "liberty".

Okay, tangent over.  The lawsuit filed today is a great thing, and it is gratifying to see the more muscular push-back on the legal front in this and other issues over the last few years.


yoobee said...

"In a country governed by the U.S. Constitution, this ordinance would be struck down on quickly, beginning with a TRO."

So, in your mind, what part of the Constitution is triggered by this ordinance? It doesn't sound like you buy the free exercise argument, but it sounds like that is the main point of contention for the Archdiocese (i.e., the ordinance prohibits an employer from firing or refusing to hire someone based on their decision to have an abortion, and the Church must be free to fire/refuse to hire those who choose not to live in accordance with its mission.) But I don't see how the 5th or 14th Amendments are triggered here, since the ordinance does not actually say anything with respect to abortion regulations.

I've always understood the term "religious liberty" to refer to one's freedom to true worship of God, so I do not understand the issue with this language. What else should it be called? Even if the result is that opinions differ regarding what is true worship, I am not sure that the government is authorized to go any further (and I am pretty sure most of us do not want it to go any further).

thetimman said...

I do buy the free exercise argument, but first the freedom of speech and assembly.

Athelstane said...

The religious liberty ship seems to have sailed. We're all Americanists now. Sadly.

But better to at least use the constitutional language, if we must use any at all in context: "Free exercise." That at least forces a constitutional discussion.